Duchess by Deception

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

A wonderfully crafted read. Duchess by Deception was a fun romance filled with lovely scenery and characters I found relatable even though one of them is a Duke. I loved the plot and was entranced from the get go and couldn't put the book down. Overall. It was an excellent read and has m eager to read the next novel by this talented author.
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Derek, duke of Westwood, finds a man digging on his land. Only... it's not a man, it's a young woman, Catherine, who is on the run from an arranged betrothal to a disgusting, older viscount, and is looking for a key her grandmother had buried many years before. Derek needs to be married ASAP: if he hasn't by his 30th birthday -- in a few days of course -- his uncle will inherit. He lies to Catherine, not telling her who he is, and they fall in love. Then they have to quickly get married to avoid the viscount -- off to Gretna Green, where else?!. It gets more and more complicated, his cousin and BFF Simon ends up rescuing Catherine's sister from the same viscount; seems Papa dearest was in serious debt and offered one of his daughters as payment. 

Anyhow, Catherine decides she can't trust Derek, and freezes him out for a while, and is convinced that he really does love her but was caught up in the 'lies' which he insisted were all for her. 

This wasn't a favorite of mine from this author, and I've really liked her others.  The author said she wrote this many years ago and it's obvious that she didn't do too much revising or data checking. There's an automobile, but there are also horse-drawn carriages. And piped-in water but gas lights.
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Force has created a world and a cast of characters that will draw readers in and keep them hooked throughout the pages.
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As historical romances go have to say this was more than just historical. There was tons of sizzling scenes between these two very easy to see they are compatible in every way. The thing I liked the most is that Marie Force didn’t make Derek seem stodgy, arrogant or like other aristocrats blah. He seemed genuine and the love he has for his Catherine was beautiful in a way that Marie Force made it seem so real. Not only was it just Derek and Catherine but Simon and Madeline was hot as well. Loved it.

“I received an eBook copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own.”
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Although there wasn't anything bad enough to make me stop reading, and the writing was technically well-done, this book was as Vanilla as anything. I didn't find anything interesting enough to make me keep reading.
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Stevie‘s review of Duchess by Deception (Gilded, Book 1) by Marie Force
Historical Romance published by Zebra 29 Jan 19

I’m a sucker for a cross-dressing protagonist, particularly in historical stories, sometimes to the point where I’ll ignore all kinds of factors that would normally count as honking great warning signs that this is not a book for me. Like an author who has suddenly switched genre (in this case from contemporary to historical fiction), a US author who is writing fiction set in the UK without having previously spent time here, or a series whose title harks to a US-specific period of history – which, incidentally, was more or less over by the time at which this story begins. Of course, there are times when ignoring warnings can lead to great discoveries. This was not one of them.


Derek is a Duke. We know this because everyone constantly addresses him as ‘your grace.’ Not Westwood (his title) or Eagan (his family name) or some childhood nickname in the case of his friends, and not ‘sir’ in the case of his staff. He’s also very aware (as are his friends) that a deadline is looming: he must marry by his 30th birthday. Not to humour some aged relative who might otherwise write him out of their will; not to satisfy a creditor who will foreclose on a hefty loan on that date if he doesn’t find a wealthy bride. No, Derek has to marry or lose the dukedom: MAJOR ERROR NUMBER ONE. This could never have happened, not even back in the days when dukes were merrily executed or otherwise bumped off on the whim of the monarch. Sadly for Derek, he despises every young woman he encounters. Luckily for them, since Derek is a colossal bore.

Tired of London, Derek rides his horse out to his estate in Essex: MAJOR ERROR NUMBER TWO. Horses are not motorbikes and cannot travel great distances from city to rural retreat in a matter of a few hours, Dick Turpin and Black Bess not withstanding. Any normal duke in Edwardian times would, of course, have travelled by train, possibly even to his estate’s own station, where he could have been met by the staff – possibly, given that this is a plot point later, in a motor car. Anyway, Derek rides out to the estate, where he encounters Catherine McCabe, dressed as a boy and digging a hole. Catherine promptly faints, not at Derek’s dubious manliness, but because she is exhausted and unwell. Derek takes her to his house (because he’s already entranced by her), and tucks her up in bed, learning along the way that Catherine wants nothing whatsoever to do with the aristocracy.

Catherine is the daughter of an earl, who was previously a blacksmith, though not as far as I could make out a member of a William Morris style artist’s commune (which might have made sense), and has run away from marriage to a viscount in order to search for treasure buried by her grandmother, who was seemingly in service to Derek’s grandfather and then married an earl. Go figure all that lot out, because I couldn’t. Sadly, Catherine fails to display any rampant socialist ideas beyond hating her parents’ sudden switch from ordinary folk to snobs (still no mention of William Morris) and is happy to believe that Derek is his own estate manager. And then, reader, she marries him. At Gretna Green (which they get to by carriage in her case, and on horseback in his – without changing the poor horses at any point), even though non-residents couldn’t do that after 1856. Still without Catherine knowing Derek’s true identity, because he signs the register after she does, without anyone spotting the switch to his proper signature.

I somehow managed to finish this book, although I’ll spare people too many further details. Suffice it to say there are mentions of motor cars, with no appearance of any authorial knowledge or research into British motoring history – of which there was plenty, even by Edwardian times – and Derek may, in fact, be the Doctor given his ability to predict the future when investing in technology. He’s not the Master: that role is played by his Evil Uncle, a swirling mass of villainous cliches if ever I saw one.

This was the first and last book I ever read by the author. I shall avoid like the plague any more dross from someone who cares so little about how badly she disrespects my country’s history. Plus, that whole thing about lying to someone because they wouldn’t have sex with you if they knew your real identity? At best it’s icky; at worst, depending on where you are in the world, it’s rape.

Grade: F
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No matter the genre, Marie Force holds my interest and captivates my heart. Her historical fiction story, Dutchess by Deception is proof and point. I love the world she created in this amazing story. I laughed, I cried, devoured each page to find out what would happen next.

Derek has mere weeks to find a bride, or lose his title. However, no one captures his interest. He gives up at returns to his estate, only to find the one woman he soon finds he can't live without. The only problem, she couldn't be more Anti-aristocratic if she tried. She loathes that part of society and wants nothing to do with it.

This story has memorable characters, builds a world I never wanted to leave and combustible chemistry that is off the charts.

I can't wait to see what Marie has in store for us next.
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I received a copy of this book via NetGalley and the publisher and the filling review is given voluntarily.
This is my first book by this author. The storyline ws a good one but as a reader who has read many historical romance novels I must admit I was a bit let down with the way this story was told. That said as this seems to be the first book in this series maybe the next one will make up for this one. I do not usually like to give a bad review but this time I will have to be honest and say I do not recommend this book but I am willing to take a chance on the author.
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When I saw Marie Force had written an Historical Romance, I was immediately intrigued. I enjoyed Duchess by Deception very much. The setting, characters, plot, and language were not groundbreaking, but they were entertaining. The heroine, Catherine, is fairly typical–in need of saving, yet intelligent, educated, and independent. The hero, Derek–constricted by the aristocratic life he was born to, searching for a bride in order to meet a deadline and retain the title of the Duke of Westwood, and all it entails–is handsome, charming, very progressive, and lonely in spite of being one of the most eligible bachelors in the ton. Their meeting, and whirlwind courtship, worked in this setting while it wouldn’t have in a contemporary novel.Duchess by Deception has more sex scenes than I recall from historical novels back in the day. While they weren’t explicit, there is definitely more detail than those novels of my teenage years. I did find the conversations between Catherine and her sister, Madeleine regarding wedding night expectations very amusing. I was charmed by both Derek and Catherine, and felt invested and hopeful of their relationship working out in spite of a few obstacles in their path to happiness. The requisite villain, in the form of Derek’s uncle, added suspense and a slight sense of danger.

I don’t read this sub-genre much these days, but it dominated my early romance-reading days. I tend to read historicals with a more forgiving attitude than I do contemporaries, almost indulgent, really. I’m not sure why–maybe a sentimental feeling for the sub-genre as it was my first introduction to the world of romance novels. Duchess by Deception was a fun book to read. It brought back some happy memories for me–I think I will seek out more (contemporary) historical romance in the very near future.

3.5 stars
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Derek has to find a wife or he loses his title to his horrible uncle. Well, fate brings his new lover Catherine who happens to be a fugitive from a nefarious engagement to na evil viscount. Good to her she marries the duke which she does not know until later-the honeymoon. Of course, her father is bad and so her fiance but everything is fine because she married a duke, yet she did not want to become a part of the ton. Poor girl.

Derek is ok, he blames the women and himself because he does not find them interesting enough and this air head girls. Poor girls,actually to have to dealt with this boring aristocrats.

People find th new duchess and the duke real cool but they have nothing that is remotely interesting they are pretty common to me. Just because she has read six hundreds books and wants to helps others she so exquisite,of course he would fall in love with her as his cousin has for her sister, purê bliss.

I did not appreciate everything was real quick and it was not deep of the motives of the characters for ex, why her dad changed so much? How could have Derek fell in love so fast and dont metion her curly blond,please??
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I'm a longtime fan of Marie Force. She's branching out from contemporary romance to regency / historical romance - and it's just as fun to read as everything else she's done.
I fell into this story just as easily as I do the rest of hers, despite the historical flavor which I'm not always a fan of. I enjoyed even the unlikeable characters (and there are a few that just itch to be slapped pretty consistently) and though a few story points jarred me a bit, nothing was an issue to throw me from the story. As always her romantic scenes are off the charts hot, and the character chemistry pretty fantastic.
Derek and Catherine begin to fall for one another under some false pretenses and some outright lies - never the best start to a relationship but a great setup for a romance plot. This tale provides a two-for-one as well - there isn't just one couple pairing up in these pages!
If you like Marie Force at all and think you might want to try out a historical romance, I can definitely recommend this one.
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Enjoyable read full of chemistry, humor, intrigue and family crime/drama!  The characters were fun and full bodied in that they all could stand on their own and had me laughing or shaking my head at some of their antics.  The story moves quickly and was a page turner for me.  I did find several aspects (the villain) of this story predictable, but still enjoyable.  Both Derek and Catherine were the MVP for me in this story.  Catherine because of how strong and dynamic of a character she was, especially for that time period.  Derek for the scene with Catherine’s father!

I am a fan of MF and her stories.  I am always amazed at how different her characters and stories are depending on the series.  This story is set in a different realm of romance, one that I don’t normally read, but I have to say I can’t wait for her next book in this series!

Thank you Marie Force, Kensington Books, Zebra,  and NetGalley for the chance to read this book and share my opinions!
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Maybe I had my expectations a bit too high for this one. I know that this was her first historical romance, but I couldn’t bring myself to like this one very much. It was predictable and I hate the miscommunication trope. I think I’ll just stick to reading her contemporaries.
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I had originally put this book down at the 60% mark after trying to read it for 5 days.
Today I picked it up again and finally finished it.
The last 40% was amazing (hence the 3-star rating).
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Holy historical inaccuracies!  I can't even with this one! Marie force is one of my favorite contemporary writers.  Her attempt at historical romance was bombed. You have to entirely suspend your disbelief here. A Duke cannot lose his title  no matter a "clause in the will". 

The storyline wasn't much better. Yes, I can see why he would like about being a Duke. But to continuously lie to her and the instalove was too much. I think I preferred the secondary romance between her sister and his cousin!
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A-mazing! I was  so excited to see Marie write a historical fiction book and I couldn’t put it down!! She never disappoints and I can’t wait for the next one!
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This historical romance is set in Essex, England at the turn of the 20th century–so, around the time of electricity, the birth of the automobile, the beginnings of modern flight-machines and new-fangled indoor plumbing.

Derek Eagan, the Duke of Westwood, is less than a fortnight from his thirtieth birthday, and must marry or risk losing his estate to his greedy uncle. The details of his entailment require a marriage before his birthday, but Derek refuses to marry a simpering debutante and flees the ballroom scenes for his country estate. Upon his arrival, he encounters a person digging on his property. Derek mistakes the intruder for a man, but is surprised to find she’s a very ill woman. He brings her to his home, but pretends to be his estate manager–on account of the beautiful young Catherine being very much opposed to the aristocracy.

Catherine is a learned woman, recently made a “Lady” due to her father inheriting an earldom. Before that, Catherine had taught reading and writing to the local village children, and rode horses for sport. As a Lady, she’s too old to vie for a husband in the ballrooms of London, but her father has suddenly betrothed her to a vile viscount, one who isn’t above taking what he wants without waiting for a marriage license. Catherine, fearing the dreaded marriage ran off in the night and began the search for a key to untold treasure buried by her own grandmother ages ago. Derek is intrigued by the story of the riches left on his estate–he’s long known about the safebox this key would open–but he’s enraged about the viscount’s advances, and only wants to keep the lovely Catherine safe. It’s in this vein that he helps her escape to Gretna Green for an elopement–only, he hasn’t quite told Catherine that he’s the duke. And, well, the whole get married before the birthday thing probably isn’t going to go over well, either….once Catharine finds out.

This was a fast-paced romance with Catherine and Derek falling quickly for one another. Catherine isn’t amused when she learns her husband’s true identity–or his requirements for the inheritance. They have some serious problems, as a matter of fact, but some of this is smoothed over by Derek’s immense ardor for Catherine, who he considers a love match. He’s lucky that Catherine’s sister is a fan of his–she goes a long way to smoothing things over. I liked how spirited Catherine is, and how she stood up for herself in ways that didn’t feel artificial. Derek wounded her emotionally, and she doesn’t let it go until she’s sure he’s truly sorry. Plus, He makes it right in many awesome ways. There’s a lot of sexytimes–for Catherine and her younger sister, because we have a little story-within-a-story happening. That was yummy fun, especially as Derek and his cousin are well-skilled at the art of lovemaking. These two sisters get so much more than they bargained for, but mostly they find lovers and friends who they happily marry.

This is a standalone romance, but I can see that there will be another book coming–likely featuring a couple of wealthy bachelors that were good friends of Derek. I’d gladly read more!
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The Duchess by Deception by Marie Force is an entertaining book about two people who fall in love without knowing anything about one another. Catherine was found on Derek's property digging, as if looking for something. She expressed her dislike for the Duke so Derek immediately assumed the name of his estate manager and sent him on a "vacation." Things progress in their relationship and eventually they fall in love and confessions are made on bother sides.

This is an entertaining story with an interesting plot. It is not easy to come up with a new and different plot but Force has succeeded with entertaining characters and a moving, somewhat possible storyline.  It is a happily-ever-after romance with some clever twists and turns. Certainly worth your time and trouble. I recommend it. 

I received a free ARC of the Duchess by Deception in exchange for a fair and honest review. #netgalley #duchessbydeception
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I finished Duchess by Deception feeling sadly disappointed. I wondered if it might be me, that this might be a genre that just didn’t work for me anymore. Because I expected a whole lot better from the author of the Fatal romantic suspense series.

Then I looked at some of the other reviews on Goodreads and discovered that I am far from alone in my feelings. Which leaves me feeling better about the other historical romances in my virtually towering TBR pile – but somewhat at a loss for words about this book.

Duchess by Deception is a historical romance that includes an extended ride on the “Troperville Trolley”. There are enough all-too-common tropes and cliches packed into this book for three stories – and it might have been better if it had been three separate stories.

Because there are three stories here. The first is the one about the Duke of Westwood and his nuptial deadline. If he doesn’t marry by the day of his 30th birthday he’ll be forced to relinquish the title in favor of his nasty, greedy, grasping uncle. And his birthday is at the end of the week as the story begins.

So of course he runs off to his country estate instead of staying in London to find a bride. He discovers a young man digging holes at his estate who is immediately revealed to be not merely female but actually a damsel in distress who is on the run from a fate worse than death.

Yes, my eyes are rolling.

That they fall instantly in love is, of course, a given.

Then the misunderstandammits start rolling in. Because he doesn’t tell her he’s a duke since she hates the aristocracy, even though she is part of it. And he doesn’t tell her he has to marry by the end of the week because, well, he’s already lying to her about being the duke’s estate manager instead of the duke himself.

So when the dastardly villain her father has literally sold her to starts investigating the area around the duke’s estate, he whisks her away to Gretna Green for a hasty marriage over the anvil.

Then the same thing nearly happens to her sister. And that’s not the half of it.

Escape Rating D+: I haven’t dragged the D+ out in a while. I didn’t so much finish this book as skim it to see how it ended. Because there is a third plot thread that is even crazier than the first two.

There’s a whole lot of insta-love going on here, well past the point where it’s believable or even plausible. Not only does the duke fall instantly for his future duchess when she faints in his arms, but then his cousin falls equally precipitously for her sister across a crowded ballroom.

Really? The family seems prone to falling sickness, or possibly insanity.

We don’t have a chance to see either relationship actually develop. What we do get is a lot of sex scenes substituting for the development of the romance. I like a good sex scene as much as the next romance reader, but porn-without-plot is not a substitute for an actual plot. YMMV.

The villains of the piece were both caricatures, and yes, there are two. One is a leering pig of a villain, and the other is a greedy, grasping, murderous villain. Who have no relationship to each other. Which stretches the long arm of coincidence a bit too long for a single book.

And both women forgive their father for selling them to the leering pig WAY too easily.

This story had promise. Actually, it had multiple promises. It just didn’t live up to any of them.
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Duchess by Deception is a well written historical romance.  I enjoyed the plot and the author’s writing.  Fans of historical romance novels will enjoy this book.  I received an arc from Netgalley and this is my unbiased review.
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